Asturias Region

Discover "Green Spain" in the Asturias region..

Asturias region is situated in the Spanish north coast, Bay of Biscay, facing the Cantabrian Sea.  The official tourism board promotes this area as a “natural paradise”, its abundant rainfall is a contrast of greenery in relation to the dry landscapes of Southern Spain.  Among its mountains are some of the best Spanish forests, where the last remaining bears of the Peninsula still stroll.  It also has a long coast line, which alternates good beaches, beautiful fishing villages as Luanco, Tazones, Llanes or Cudillero and high cliffs.

 

Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, is a charming town, one of the first Spanish cities where the driving of cars has been banned from its historic quarters making it a pleasure to walk the streets, stopping in its scrumptious bakeries, shops and “chigres” bars where to drink the luscious cider of the region.  Nearby is Santa Maria del Naranco, a stunning church of peculiar and beautiful Asturian pre-Romanesque style.

In Asturias, in addition to good wine, you can drink delicious cider and eat mouthwatering food.  The national dish is a dish made of beans with chunks of pork, la fabada, very popular not only in Asturias but all of Spain (check out the recipe here).  When eating in Asturias bring your appetite as the portions are usually huge and the food whether it be fabada or any of its succulent meat or fish dishes are delectable.  One cannot leave without trying a delightful arroz con leche (rice pudding see Spanish Food Recipes) one of the best Spanish desserts.

 

The other two well known cities in Asturias, Gijón and Avilés, have recovered from their industrial decline and now offer a great cultural scene.  The latest examples are the cultural centers of La Laboral in Gijón and the Oscar Niemeyer Center in Avilés. 

Asturias has a long industrial tradition originating in its coal mines, today mining is almost extinct but till recently talk of Asturias was to a large extent of its coal mines.  In San Martín del Rey Aurelio, near Oviedo, is an interesting Museum of Mining and Industry worth visiting.

Going back to the vision of Asturias as a “natural paradise” let's not forget the forests of Somiedo, the mountains of the Picos de Europa, the beaches of Llanes or the small coves of Castropol where you can admire the spectacular sunset over the river Eo.  To enjoy the best Asturias has to offer consider staying in one of the Casonas Asturianas or small boutique hotels in its extensive network of rural tourism.  Among these accommodations you will be able to choose from beautifully refurbished 17th century buildings or palaces built in the traditional regional architecture or the so- called “casonas de indianos”, mansions  built by returning Asturian emigrants who made their fortunes in Latin America bringing back the colors and aesthetics from that continent. Check out some of these beautiful accommodations.

 

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